Sony Xperia Z Google Edition rumored to be in the works


Sony Xperia Z AOSP video

It’s that time again, time for another round of Android rumors and gossip. The latest juicy rumor floating around the blogosphere is one that doesn’t sound too far fetched. According to AndroidGeeks, Sony has been feeling a bit left out with all these newly announced Google Edition coming soon to the Google Play Store — and they want in. Said to be announced sometime in July, Sony and Google will announce a completely stock version of the Sony Xperia Z, for sale directly from Google Play.

This actually wouldn’t be the first time Sony’s gotten their feet wet with AOSP. You may remember around this same time last year their Sony Xperia S was inducted into Google’s hall of AOSP before being ejected a short time later. Despite this, Sony Mobile has continued their work with Android ROM devs and Android modders to bring a stock Android experience to their devices. Their latest feat was AOSP Jelly Bean 4.2.2 running on the Xperia Z and Xperia Tablet Z, (albeit still very alpha).

A Sony Xperia Z running a purely stock (and stable) Android OS while receiving updates directly from the Google sounds like a fanboys wet dream. And where it’s a dream we hope we’ll see come to fruition in the very near future, it’s also one you should take with a very tiny grain of salt. For now. I can’t help but wonder if previous rumors of multiple “Nexus” devices from multiple OEM’s being sold through Google Play were accurate, or if this was simply a snowball effect that started with Samsung and was followed by extremely competitive Android rivals.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. The first two dominoes fell. Now, Sony, LG (Optimus G Pro), etc have to join in the mix to at least maintain a foothold in the market. This is great because Google is finally fulfilling their mission of multiple Nexuses in one year (indirectly). I feel like we are defeating a purpose of the Nexus program itself though. The devices are meant to be the first to get updates and be cheaper alternatives to the main OEM flagships. Now, we are going to see some prices skyrocketing. I feel like I am going to wait till the next Nexus 5 or the Note 3 for my new phone. Another thing I feel is that the exclusive gimmicks to Touchwiz, Sense, Bravia, etc are not going to be able to be implemented without compromising the pure experience. I would take HTC Zoe with pure Google though. Sounds like a good combo, but I doubt it will be done like that. What about these developer editions as well?

    1. I don’t think that Nexus was ever “meant” to be cheaper alternative. The Nexus 4 was the first one that was subsidized through google. The Nexus One and Nexus S were around $530 upon release when unlocked, or you could get them cheaper when bought through a contract. And I think the Galaxy Nexus was even higher. Nexus was meant to be a dev phone and to show what can be done with what is generally the latest hardware, if not the absolute best hardware.

      1. Well, I am basing that off the unlocked versions being sold on the Play Store. The Galaxy Nexus was $349.99 last yr when I was looking for a phone. I bought the S3 for $400 at the time.

  2. This is what i like to see! Every mfg should have at least one Google Edition phone per year. Would be nice if carriers would subsidize (no other tampering), but thats a pipe dream in itself

    1. The problem is they wont sell. Look at @NardVa’s comment. Nobody is going to buy a $600+ smartphone in the Play Store when a $350 Nexus 4 is staring them in the face.

      Google kinda screwed over all other OEM’s when they made $300 a target price for all Nexuses.

      1. I agree, which is why I think the only way these Google Edition phones will take off is if carriers agree to subsidize them.. which is not going to happen.. ever

      2. Ya I appreciated the $349 for the Nexus but until the 4 came out I was already used to paying $600 for one. Now $600 feels like a slap in the face.

      3. If I wanted stock Android I most certainly would. I must be in the minority or minorities but I’d pay 300 more to not have that crappy little Nexus. I don’t see the appeal of the LG Nexus whatsoever other than its cheap but it’s ugly as hell and has no expandable storage.

        1. Ugly as hell? Really?

      4. I bought my Galaxy Nexus for more than $600 from Negri Electronics before Google sold it on the Play Store. I have my heart set on the GS4 GE, because of the premium hardware & microSD slot. I can finally have my entire music library stored locally on my stock Android device! Bye, bye iPod and iTunes. No more managing two music libraries. My outrageous expenditures are becoming a little more justified. I bet I’m still in the minority though.

  3. this is a dream come true allright! :'(

  4. Stock Android phones are nice but for 600 or more I will pass and wait for the Nexus 5.

    1. You and everyone else. Something tells me once nobody buys these devices, you wont see these OEM’s with Google Edition devices next year.

      1. You know what interesting… The rumor last year about the 5 Nexus’s actually are ending up true now

        1. Wow that actually makes sense @-@

        2. While you’re right with the stock android part of Nexus, I think the “Nexus” name kind of implies that it will be subsidized by Google. So… eh.

          1. Well in a sense it will be sold by Google

        3. Well, that would actually make it well over 5 since the original rumor was 5 nexus devices, not necessarily phones.

      2. As long As I live to get one of these phones with pure Stock Android (4.2.2) I’ll be happy forever :’)

        1. +1 4 u, mate! !!

      3. :(

        I hope not. These Google Edition devices are the most exciting thing to me that has happened with Android in a long time.

      4. Instead of bringing out Google Edition devices Google and the OEM should just give us the option of Google’s vanilla software or the OEM’s version (sense/touchwiz), wouldn’t that be more feasible for both the consumer and them? Seems like a win win situation if you ask me.

        1. HTC was trying to actually pull this off, offer vanilla android to the people who already bought the HTC One, and if they do that and end up working maybe more OEM’s will follow suit and we may FINALLY have the perfect solution, give the user the choice of the customized OS or stock OS for every device running android…

          1. I hope HTC do, I’d love the option to put vanilla android on my HTC One officially, would be even better if dual boot was available but we know that’s not going to happen anytime yet…

      5. The problem is that US consumers are not used to buy phones at full price and then go prepaid. In my country a stock $600 Z would sell like hot bread. The normal Z is around $1100 unlocked here…. F**** taxes!!!

      6. Don’t underestimate the hate people have for [insert OEM here]. There are enough LG snobs that these NE devices will sell. There are a certain number of people that hate every manufacturer and will swear they are the devil. Besides, they don’t have to sell millions of them. Other than updating an AOSP rom all the work is done, so making a vanilla branch product on the S4 tree. And $600 is not so much for a luxury device when enthusiasts and dev’s buy new phones every year.

    2. Maybe Google will sell the Nexus 5 at a higher price point.

    3. I know what you mean but if the rumours of the next Nexus not being high spec are true then I suspect it won’t receive quite the following it has in the past. I love my Gnex and will go N5 if it is high spec otherwise, a high spec Nexus edition phone will be the way I go.

  5. OEM’s should give consumers the option to switch to a stock build regardless of the carrier then the consumer would decide which OEM they want to go with for their devices. I think all phone should be sold unlocked. It would definitely promote competition and best devices will win in the long run.

  6. Actually, the stock Sony Roms are awesome. No need for AOSP, only that it might get updates faster, but Sony has great customizations

  7. Me thinks instead of the Android 5.0 this year Google should launch the Google Cinnamon Roll which allows you to roll your own Android build and nuke whatever crap-ass skin the OEM put on the hardware. No need for off-contract super expensive handsets; just let me nuke TouchWiz, Sense, or whatever other skin my phone has and install what I want.

    The Cinnamon Roll project also requires OEM’s ship their boot loaders unlocked to allow seamless install of your own Cinnamon Roll.

    It’ll never happen but I can always hope.

  8. Mine mine mine mine mine

  9. A 5″ Nexus Experience phone that’s not a Samsung? I would totally buy this if the Moto X and Nexus 5 weren’t on the way. Still might … love Sony.

    1. The Moto X won’t be anywhere near 5 inches.

  10. It sexy doe.

  11. Seriously, this is not making my phone buying decision any more easy. First, I was going to get the HTC One….then I heard about Galaxy S4 GE….then the HTC One GE…now this!

    *First world problems*

    1. I played with the HTC One today. It’s nice … but side by side against my GNex it doesn’t blow it away … Sad for me because my wife’s EVO is still going strong and I’d like to give my business to HTC. But man … the choices out there and the stuff coming up … really enticing.

      Blinkfeed is sweet though.

    2. Some hints. . phone with expandable mem’ry, replaceable batt, nice and cool display,
      or with dust/water resistant, sd slot but cheap display,
      or the best device title holder From mwc 2013 and now it received international best mobile handset. The choice is yours! !!

  12. I got 99 problems and choosing which phone to buy is every single one.

  13. What ever it is, this is good news for Sony fanatics!
    The problem is…. how much it cost! ?

  14. For people who use monthly cellphone plans instead of doing contracts by the year, these kind of phones make sense. Monthly plans have to buy phones at full price anyways, you’re paying $600 for a good phone (unless it’s a Nexus) and I’d rather pay $600 for a vanilla experience HTC One than an HTC One with Sense on it. All of this is moot though because if it was up to me, I’d save the $300 and buy the Nexus anyways. On top of that, the percentage of the market using monthly by month plans is extremely slim.

  15. All the people counting on the next Nexus to be $300 again, I hope you’re wrong. I don’t want another fragile, half-assed device without storage or LTE.

    I want to see a premium build Nexus again without ridiculous compromises. For those only willing to pay a hand full of food stamps for a smart phone, let them sign a contract and deal with Touchwiz.

    1. I’ve used my Nexus 4 without a case since launch, and I have no scratches or cracks. T-Mobile HSDPA gets me 12-18Mbps down. I’m not sure which half assed device you’re talking about, but it isn’t the qi packing Nexus 4.

  16. I guess the dream of being able to have Google retail stores is finally coming true.

  17. I remember when there was a rumor that many an OEM would be joining the Nexus party. This, I guess, is the outcome? Android vanilla party?

  18. Whether Google ’s dumping the Nexus line or not, it seems the “Google Edition” series is growing fast. First we had the Samsung Galaxy S4 without all that bloat, then an HTC One with stock Android, and now rumours are circling that we’ll get a Sony Xperia Z with Jelly Bean sans skin the way Google intended.

    Considering Sony already released the ASOP code for its waterproof flagship, a rumour of a Google Edition isn’t all that far-fetched. If the Xperia Z does indeed go stock, direct from Google, that’ll mean that basically every flagship Android phone worth looking at will be available as a Google Edition. Apparently it’ll be announced sometime in July—though we;ll have to wait and see if that prediction actually comes true.

  19. Yay! Nexus are my favourite flavour of Rumour!

  20. Honestly its the same hardware as the Nexus 4? Why fork over $599 when you can just buy a N4 for cheap?

    Maybe if they refresh the product and add a stronger processor then it would make sense.

  21. From the picture and video, it seems to have a yellowish tint. Yup, it’s the Google Edition.

  22. Great news of course, but $400 is my max for next phone. I’d really like one of the Moto X or developer phones, but those prices are simply too much. I’ll just get a Nexus 4 instead.

  23. this phone is the bomb

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